By NICOLE LAMPERT
PUBLISHED: 16:32 EST, 30 August 2013 | UPDATED: 16:32 EST, 30 August 2013
The chiselled features of Rupert Penry-Jones don’t just turn heads, they set hearts a-flutter and reduce hitherto dynamic, accomplished women to simpering schoolgirls.
The towering star of Whitechapel and Silk is lusted after by everyone from the woman next door to the highest paid female TV presenter in the country.
According to Maxine Peake, his co-star in legal drama Silk, she can slip into the public gallery at the Old Bailey to research her role unrecognised, but when Rupert once accompanied her, 'Women were cooing and going all gooey over him.'
And who can forget that embarrassing interview last year on This Morning, when Holly Willoughby, who’s interviewed Hollywood stars, prime ministers and Olympic heroes, stammered, giggled and blushed before finally burying her face in a cushion to mask her discomfort?
No, there’s no denying Rupert’s a heart-throb. As his actress wife and former M&S voiceover doyenne Dervla Kirwan might have purred, 'Not just any heart-throb, but Britain’s heart-throb.'
Because, while most of his other pretty boy contemporaries have moved to Hollywood, the most handsome home-grown talent on British TV is thankfully still here, gracing our screens for up to six months of the year.
We meet on the appropriately creepy set of the fourth series of his horror detective show Whitechapel.
The disused Hornsey Town Hall in north London is a former Art Deco masterpiece now full of mysterious dark corridors, strange noises and rumours of ghosts. Rupert, 42, has been doing 12-hour shifts all week, but he strides into the room with a big smile.
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